15 Jan 2004

Fiji Nurses Association worried about premature deaths among members

4:33 pm on 15 January 2004

The Fiji Nurses Association says it has become increasingly worried about the abnormal rate of premature deaths among its nurses.

In the last three years, in one hospital alone, five nurses have died prematurely, of cancer or hypertension and another is now seriously ill with cancer.

The general secretary of the Fiji Nurses Association, Kuini Lutua, says insurance companies now charge huge premiums for nurses' health cover because they are considered to have such a high-risk job.

She says migration of nurses to other countries and into the private sector together with the new issue of losing nurses to stress-related diseases will affect the whole health care sector.

"Not only are we faced with a migration issue we are also now, as an added issue, faced with the early death of nurses who are in their prime in their nursing career."

Kuini Lutua says those at staff nurse level seem to be the most vulnerable.